ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – As the lines to get tested are getting longer and longer at Balloon Fiesta Park, KRQE look at how much New Mexico’s testing numbers are soaring as the number of confirmed cases continue to rise.
So far just in the last two weeks, testing has increased by more than 60% around the state. Monday KRQE asked people who were waiting in line at Balloon Fiesta Park why they’re going. “I work near a senior citizen retirement home and I just want to be safe for them,” said Ben Hench who was waiting in line to get tested.
Other people we spoke to said travel was a big concern.”I have a daughter who has been the Mayo Clinic and we were in Arizona for a few days, and I certainly don’t want to bring illness home,” said Vivian LaValley.
In just the past week there have been more than 1,400 new confirmed COVID-19 cases statewide, averaging around 210 cases a day. That’s up more than 75% from the daily case average two weeks ago.
Outpacing the increase in testing which as gone up by a little more than 60% over the past couple weeks averaging more than 7,000 a day. This, as people get out and socialize more and head back to work.
Travel concerns were also talked about at Balloon Fiesta Park. “Arizona has no respect for COVID, and the people… the bars are open… people aren’t taking care of themselves or other people so I don’t want to bring that to New Mexico,” said LaValley.
Last week at Balloon Fiesta Park, the testing site had a wait time of six hours. Monday it was down to about four.
The Balloon Fiesta testing center closes at three in the afternoon so they start turning away cars well before that. Although cases are way up, hospitalizations are not spiking. That may be because the age groups seeing the surge are people in their twenties, thirties and forties.